Rick Scott Calls on U.S. Ambassador the UN to Hold Communist China Accountable on Human Rights

Last week, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., sent a letter to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Linda-Thomas Greenfield, following the release of the UN’s report on the human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in their homeland.

Scott called on Thomas-Greenfield to use the report to curb Communist China’s influence at the UN and to work with our global partners to hold Beijing accountable for its genocide.

The letter is below.

Dear Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield:

I write to you following the recent publication of an assessment of human rights abuses in the Uyghur Homeland (hereafter “Assessment”) published by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner (OHCHR).

While I appreciate the Assessment’s publication and recognize the need for independent reviews of great atrocities, such as those in Xinjiang, there is evidence the Assessment was hampered by influence from the Communist Chinese regime and is not fully independent. For example, the section on forced sterilization and birth control policies in Xinjiang is noticeably weaker than what previous reports and independent researchers have shown, such as the Uyghur Tribunal. Sadly, this tracks with news reports which revealed the Assessment’s section regarding forced sterilization of Uyghur women was watered down to accommodate Beijing’s desired language.

Nevertheless, the Assessment does represent an authoritative finding that demands accountability. Using official documents from the Communist Chinese government and relying on interviews from men and women who have been personally imprisoned and abused in Xinjiang, the OHCHR’s Assessment showed that Communist China is engaged in widespread human rights abuses including arbitrary deprivation of liberty, religious discrimination, forced abortion, forced labor and torture.

Of course, we’ve long known the extent of Communist China’s abuses. Since being elected to the U.S. Senate, I’ve been proud to stand with the Uyghurs and condemn Xi Jinping’s genocide. And since January 2021, the United States Government has held that Communist China is guilty of genocide against the Uyghur population. Parliaments in Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Lithuania, Netherlands and United Kingdom have all made similar determinations.

This Assessment is an important resource in our efforts to oppose the ongoing genocide, especially for your position at the UN. It also must be used to finally take action to remove Communist China from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Communist China’s continued membership on this body only serves to discredit the UNHRC’s work, and allows Xi’s communist regime to exert its toxic influence and distract from its crimes and human rights abuses.
Following the Assessment’s publication, many are wondering what comes next. As the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, you understand that Communist China actively co-opts international institutions to advance their own domestic initiatives and to whitewash their abuses. In light of the Assessment, there are significant opportunities for you to curb Communist China’s influence at the UN and to work with our global partners to hold Beijing accountable for its genocide. Therefore, I request your response, in writing, to the follow questions:

1. What steps are you currently taking with your counterparts to raise the Assessment in the Security Council for debate?

2. What steps are you taking to ensure that Communist China loses its position on the UNHRC and is prevented from holding positions at other UN agencies where they could violate principles of the UN Charter and other international agreements?

3. How are you pushing for the Assessment to have impacts in other UN agencies, such as the International Labor Organization and the Secretary-General’s Office, so that its impact is not confined to the UNHRC?

4. What steps are you taking to encourage other nations to adopt legislation modeled after the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which President Biden signed into law last year?

5. In light of reports that UNHRC shared the names of Uyghur dissidents with the Chinese government, what steps are you taking to reform the UNHRC, protect victims of Communist China’s abuses, and ensure that dissidents and activists are able to freely share testimony with the UN without fear of retribution?

6. How are you working with other nations, especially Muslim-majority countries, to have the Assessment discussed in a special session of the UNHRC and incentivizing them to condemn Beijing’s genocide?

7. Within the Biden administration, what are you doing to support Magnitsky Act sanctions on companies, like Hikvision, which provide services and equipment to the Chinese Communist Party to promote its genocide and surveillance state in the Uyghur Homeland?

Thank you for your intention on this important matter, and I look forward to your response.

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